If you’re reading this, you’re probably like me. You struggle with reading your Bible consistently and here you are, looking for tips and tricks on how to be more consistent. First, let me tell you that you are not alone. Before doing this consistent 90 days, I don’t think there was ever a time in my life where I’d consistently read for more than 2 weeks. Now, my Bible app streak may have said I read for 150 days, but was I really reading or was I just opening the app daily? 🌚
I found a system that worked for me and want to share it with all of you. It all started in January 2022 when my church, House of Praise, announced that we would be doing a corporate reading of the New Testament in 90 days. This wasn’t the first time a reading like this had been announced, but this was the first time I actually wanted to join. I decided to join and give it my all.
Here are the seven steps I took that helped me read consistently:
1) I used a tool that was specifically designed to help me meet my goal.
I know myself and realize that I can read as much as I want, but the only way I truly retain something is if I write it down. I’m a generally reflective person…I journal every morning. So why wasn’t I journalling my Bible readings?
Now, I realize that I could’ve used any journal or even my notes app to start journalling, but I think it’s important to use a tool tailored to your goal. My tool of choice was the Stay True Daily Planner by Pastor Tope Akinsiku. You can find it here. The planner is designed to start your day with Christ and track your habits. Simply put, it’s meant to keep you accountable to the Bible reading goals that you set for yourself. This is exactly what I needed and one of the biggest reasons I actually achieved my goal.
2) I incorporated reading into my daily schedule/routine, and I habit stacked
If you’re anything like me, you write out a daily to-do list of things you need to accomplish each day. To me, there is nothing more satisfying that seeing a fully completed list at the end of the day. With this in mind, the first thing I did was include daily Bible reading into my daily routine and to-do list. But remember, just because you write it down, it doesn’t mean you’ll actually do it. To take it a step further, I started habit stacking.
I learned habit stacking when I read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. To quote directly, “Habit stacking is a special form of an implementation intention. Rather than pairing your new habit with a particular time and location, you pair it with a current habit that you have.” I had tried this for working out and it worked, so why not try it for reading my Bible? My habits went as follows: wake up, brush teeth, journal, read Bible & reflect, work out and then go on social media. Scheduling the Bible study into my existing routine ensured that it would get done.
3) I gave myself a reward after each time that I read
Social media is something I love to indulge in. Heck, it’s my full time job! Following up on the habit stacking, I only allowed myself to go on social media if and when I finish reading & working out. This was a great motivator for me. For you, think of something that will motivate you to achieve your goal.
4) I changed my Bible reading location
One of the biggest issues I had with reading my Bible was that I always fell asleep while reading it. This isn’t because it is super boring (though some chapters…🌚), it was more-so because I was trying to read in the place where I am meant to sleep.
To stop this, I started to read in the basement. Since I now had to walk downstairs to read, I was fully awake once I started reading. I also got fully dressed in my workout outfit before reading my Bible because I knew I’d be working out right after.
5) I listened using the audio Bible for tough chapters
The Bible has some chapters that are super easy to read, and others that feel like pain (sorry, not sorry). I won’t name any names but we all know who I’m talking about. For chapters like this, it is easy to get confused, frustrated and unmotivated. Quite frankly, these chapters are typically where I tap out and say I’m not doing anymore! Save your breath and rely on the audio version of the Bible for tough chapters. Also, try to read a modern/contemporary version of the Bible such as TPT or NLT to make it as painless as possible.
6) I started to pray before I started reading
Before we do anything, it’s important to get our heart and mind into a place where we can receive what is meant for us. For the more spiritual folk, it’s important to set your intentions. Before I started reading each day, I started to ask God to open my heart and allow me to retain what I was reading. It worked! Once you start understanding what you’re reading, it becomes a lot easier to stick with it day in and day out.
7) I got an accountability partner.
Accountability is key. Just like I wrote in a blog post earlier this year, if you want to achieve your goals, having someone keep you accountable to said goal increases the likelihood of you achieving them greatly. There is power in telling others about what you want to achieve. They hold you accountable and can make sure you stay on track even when you don’t feel like it. This person can be a friend, a pastor, a group at church or whatever makes most sense for you. Just make sure you’re all on the same page and equally dedicated.
These are the 7 steps I took and it has really helped me in my spiritual journey. Now I’m not perfect, but when I fall off I know there are key steps I can take that can help me get right back up.
If this was helpful, please let me know by commenting on this blog post.
I’d also appreciate if you shared this post with a friend. Sending love!